An Enemy of the People
by Henrik Ibsen
An Enemy of the People Pride Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Line). Every time a character talks counts as one line, even if what they say turns into a long monologue. We used R. Farquharson Sharp's translation.
Dr. Stockmann: "I will impart to you a discovery of a far wider scope than the trifling matter that our water supply is poisoned and our medicinal Baths are standing on pestiferous soil." (4.62)
The Doctor has just been kept from reading his contentious article at the town gathering. He says, however, that he has a new discovery to announce to the crowd. Notice how even though the Doctor is about to impart his new great revelation, he still can't bear to not mention the contaminated Baths. Is it pride that won't let him be totally silenced at the meeting, or is it principle?
Dr. Stockmann: "And there I stayed, for many years, in a horrible hole far away up north. When I came into contact with some of the people that lived scattered about among the rocks, I often thought it would of been more service to the poor half-starved creatures if a veterinary doctor had been sent up there, instead of a man like me." (4.68)
Dr. Stockmann thinks highly of himself, and is unafraid to say so. He seems to see the poor people to whom he used to provide his services as totally beneath him. Is he guilty of pride, or is it just the truth? Is he too good for the destitute people of the north?
Dr. Stockmann: "I was like one of the cider-ducks brooding on its nest, and what I hatched was the plans for these Baths." (4.71)
Is it pride that makes Dr. Stockmann point out that the Baths were his idea to begin with? He definitely knows how much the issue annoys his brother, who often tries to take credit for it all. Is it just another way of attacking the Mayor? Of course, can you really blame the Doctor? He's only saying what's true.